Teagan's Sandbox


Building a Relationship with God

Since we are in Holy Week with Easter upon us, it has made me think a lot about my life with religion. I was baptized as a baby and raised in the Catholic Church. We always went to church but religion was never a huge deal in my house growing up. I’ve always believed in God but after my parents got divorced I think my mom’s relationship with the church was strained. They made her feel unwelcomed and therefore we felt unwelcomed.

After that, my relationship with God started to become non-existent through high school. In college, I started feeling God pulling at my heart strings, especially after my 5 year relationship with my boyfriend dissolved. It was a relationship I put my heart and soul into and at the end of the day, we were just in different places in our lives. I felt God pulling me back in, showing me that everything I needed I could find within in; and while I wasn’t ready to go back to church regularly, I started reading and studying the bible more often.

By the time I graduated college I felt as though I had built a relationship I felt strongly about. I knew God was in my heart. Still I wasn’t ready to go back to church. I would go here and there with my roommate. I would listen to Joel Osteen’s sermons almost weekly and then eventually daily on the way to and from work. I am of the opinion that you don’t need to go to church every Sunday to be strong in your faith.

I strongly believe that trusting God’s timing has gotten me to a really wonderful place in my life. The first time I went out with Cary, I went to meet him by myself while he had several friends with him. That was so out of character for me but something deep inside me knew it was all in His plan.

The next day he deployed to Afghanistan and I started a relationship with someone a world away. Again, trusting His timing. It ended up being the best thing that ever could have happened for our relationship. We got to get to know each other in the most unique way, but in the truest way. Had we not had that opportunity to get to know one another so deeply in that situation, I truly don’t think we would have been able to weather a lot of the storms we have been through. It was not by mistake, it was all in His plan for the two of us.

Teagan was not planned but has by far been the greatest gift of our lives. Again, not by mistake, all in His timing. That has become my life mantra: Trust the timing of your life. For me personally, I know that is God’s timing.

I just started going back to church. It finally felt like the right timing. I decided to go to a non-denominational church. Cary isn’t joining me at church yet but I know when the timing is right and his heart is open, he will join us too. Teagan enjoyed her nursery school experience and I think it is something she will look forward to week after week as she gets older.

Opening my heart to God is something that is so important to me. Raising Teagan to believe in something is also really important to me. I want her to grow up believing that there is something bigger than her, someone that will always love and forgive her; and I want her to grow up trusting God’s timing.


  • carolyn reynolds April 11, 2017 Reply

    I have always regretted not keeping you and Mo involved is a “structured” religion, but you are right about my not feeling good sending you to a religion that is so willing to absolve people of their sins but will not allow someone in simply because they are divorced. It was always hard to imagine myself anything but Catholic so refrained from joining any other religion and even put of barriers and reasons not to. i became a firm believer that you don’t need four walls to be able to speak and pray to God. I am glad you and teagan are joining Todd and I in our new path towards finding a way towards celebrating God. I have been and most likely always will be a believer that everything happens for a reason and that your path has been decided by God from even before you were born, why else would Todd have survived that motorcycle accident a decade ago and done as well as he has. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum lost a child due to miscarriage. She wrote this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp4WC_YZAuw about her struggle to understand why God that is so good and giving would allow this to happen. the symbolism in this video is hard to understand but as one of the reviews stated: “For those wondering about the symbolism of the rope, the knots, the horse, etc, I feel the video is illustrating a few things. First, the rope represents our life and the knots are the tough times/circumstances/tragedies. The thorns could represent the same (recall the crown of thorns during Jesus’ suffering and the thorn in Paul’s flesh…he asked the Lord three times to remove it but was told His grace is sufficient). Oftentimes, our tendency and prayer is for God to take away the knots and thorns…the disappointment …the hurt…the bad news…but this is not always the way He works. It’s when we come to the end of our rope and understand that the hardships ultimately build character, bring spiritual growth, and reflect His will, His gift, and destination for us that we can say with the scriptures and the song, “Your plans are for me (Jeremiah 29:11), goodness you have in store (Psalm 23:6). Maybe this is why she begins re-tying the knots…she realizes they have a purpose and an end goal and by saying ‘Thy Will Be Done,’ it is an acknowledgement that He is sovereign and in control and knows what’s best for us, even though we may never know the reason in this life. Think about this as well…how do we know what good is? Because we know what bad is. We know the light because we know darkness. And similarly, how else can we have and maintain a hope of heaven unless we can contrast it with the lack of hope that a sinful world could ever offer? I also see symbolism toward the end of the video. When she has made a choice to trust, we see the white horse standing at the crest of the waterfall and much easier to see. Maybe this represents Jesus (from Revelation 6 & 19) and the flowing water represents the “rivers of living water” from John 7:38.”
    I hope that Cary will join us as it has given me some peace to believe that whatever will happen today is because he wants it that way. I still struggle with Denise’s death and why he felt it was necessary, but putting your faith in God will help in times like those. that he has a greater plan that is bigger than we can imagine. i am glad you are willing to let Teagan be a part of it.

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cold mornings call for inside picnics with @replayrecycled! They have graciously offered one complete toddler feeding set in this color to one of my followers! That includes 1 divided plate, 1 flat plate, 1 bowl, 1 no spill sippy cup, 1 drinking cup, 1 utensil pair, 1 snack pod! 
To enter:
1. Like this post
2. Follow me @jenny4gaskell and @replayrecycled 
3. Tag some friends you think might love to win in separate comments (each tag is an extra entry) 
This giveaway closes at 9pm est on Friday, December 15th! Good luck!! 🎉💃🏼
  • In case anyone needed the reminder 🎅🏼🎄🎁
  • I've partnered with some of my favorite accounts to give one lucky follower $1000 to Target 🎯OR just cash (sent via paypal goods & services)!!
To participate:
2. "LIKE" this picture
3. Go to  and repeat the steps
4. Follow the same steps on every account until you're back here!
5. LIKE the last 3 photos and comment here when done.
Details: The giveaway will run for 72 hours from 12/10 to 12/13 at 10PM EST and the winner will be announced within 48 hours after the giveaway has ended. Winners must have a PUBLIC account at the time of drawing so we can verify you are following everyone in the loop. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Winner needs to fill out tax documents to claim. International entries welcome- may be responsible for shipping fees and tax if chosen. Host: @instaloops1
Please note: This loop is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram. Inc or any of the companies in the photo. If you've won a giveaway with the prize amount over $500 you are not eligible to win Another in a six month period. By entering you are confirming that you are 18+ years of age, that you release Instagram of any/all responsibility and that you agree to Instagram's term of use. No purchase necessary. Disclaimer-void where prohibited by law, no purchase necessary.
  • We started the night bad moms Christmas style and woke up this morning realizing we are really just some old golden girls! 👵🏻👵🏻👵🏻 So thankful for Instagram bringing us such an amazing friend!
  • This is GOLD, Teagan. PURE GOLD! I knew we’d get a crying picture this year and I won’t lie... I was pretty excited about it. I promise she will laugh about this later! 🙌🏼
  • Happiness brought to you by this little redhead. Smile brought to you by @smilebrilliant 😁 Don’t forget to go enter the giveaway on my blog for a chance to win your own kit! 🙌🏼 #linkinbio
  • BE HAPPY!!🌸☀️💕 I made this mood boosting roller for a friend last week and I loved it so much I made one for myself too! The recipe is up on my blog today!
  • Every day when we go to play outside the first thing Teagan does is run down to our neighbors to pat this frog on the head. Even I look forward to this daily ritual now💕